Guest Post 1: Life Without The Internet

When I was on holiday I realised three things:

1) Single malt whiskey is very tasty indeed, although overindulgence can result in a difficult hangover the next day. And a niggling sense of shame.

2) When a child points to things like the steam rising from the cooling towers of a power station and asks questions like, “is that where clouds are made?”, then you wish you still saw the world on their terms.

3) That life without the internet, although difficult at first, is not impossible.

At the beginning of the holiday I was excited to be away from everything: from work, from my borrowers, from home, from commitments. Every now and then, I thought about checking my e-mail, or my blog, just to see if any messages from people I liked had arrived or interesting comments had been made. In the back of my mind, I felt like I was ‘letting people down’ for not keeping things updated. Trips to the local pub soon became more important.

During the middle of the holiday, the realisation crept up on me that just speaking to people is one of the most enlightening things: from your closest confidantes to the woman who runs the café where you eat lunch. Face-to-face communication is sorely underrated. Couple this fact with eating good meals every day (where “good” can mean quality, or quantity or being unhurried), having a different landscape outside every window, and the time to read. All of these things combine to make miniature electronic updates from the farthest strands of the tinterweb seem less vital than before.

At the end of the holiday, I didn’t want to come home. I was having fun. I had drafted a story about a naturist who begins to study the wildlife on his local beach and decides to take his lifestyle one step further by living like the creatures he observes. With the help of some friends, he attempts to eat a lobster twice the size of his head with his hands tied behind his back. It was shaping up into a fable of sorts, or an urban myth, or possibly a horror story. It was inspired by the Christmas letters of a family friend who runs walking tours in the hills of Kos. The letters were long and detailed, even though our replies were functional at best. I have never met this family friend but I am assured that, due to the combination of time and the sun, he now resembles a walnut.

I got home, and didn’t want to do anything: it was cold and damp and the house was dark. The ginnel was full of sullen cats and carrier bags. I didn’t want to go back to work, I wanted to write some more, but using my fountain pen, not my computer; I wanted to read all of my updates from the farthest strands of the tinterweb, but I didn’t want to write any of my own.

But I will, soon. Once I’ve settled in again. It won’t be long now.

This post was donated by the writer Duncan Cheshire, author of Supermarket Nightmare 2. He writes other things here. Duncan secured his place on this blog by attaching photographs of peacocks to his donation. I had peacock at rest, peacock erect, and the most unusual peacock of them all, a rare albino peacock.

Good Work Duncan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *